Pity the Secret Service, a law enforcement agency positively stretched to its limits, what with all those mentally ill drifters from Idaho on missions from God trying to assassinate the president and whatnot. But no, that can wait, guys. Herman Cain needs some protection! (Incidentally, that's the same exclamation that began every National Restaurant Association job interview from 1997 to 1999.)

Cain asked for the security and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and congressional leaders approved his request Thursday, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed.

There have been threats against Cain, who had been experiencing a bounce in the polls, according to an official with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the situation. The nature of the threats was unclear.

According to federal law, if a candidate meets a "series of standards" — that includes "prominence as measured by polls" — then they have a right to free protection by the Secret Service. And voters love them some Cain! Thus a new codename ("Stuffed Crust") was born. So that's why Cain refuses to show up anywhere a video camera might be: It's not because he's afraid he'll look like a complete ignoramus on tape — it's because his high-tech enemies are tracking his every move! [AP, Photo via Getty]